Crystal Serenity

At sea is still an adventure…

 Your chosen cruise is going to be a great holiday – of course! But the rules of seafaring life mean plans can sometimes be set aside. Here’s a tale that shows the spirit of seamanship is as strong today as ever…

Night dash by Crystal liner to rescue Atlantic rowers
15 DEC: Crystal Cruises liner Crystal Serenity rescued two trans-Atlantic rowers thrown into the sea when a giant wave struck their eight-metre boat.
Londoner Tom Fancett and Dutch friend Tom Sauer, both 23, were picked up southwest of the Canary Islands while competing in the Atlantic Challenge, billed as the world’s toughest rowing race.
Britain’s Falmouth coastguard, which co-ordinated the rescue, said the emergency beacon from the men’s boat was triggered at 7.54pm on Tuesday, 760kms from the Canary Islands.
The nearest ship, the Bahamian-registered Crystal Serenity, was 200kms away.
“Crystal Serenity turned back and proceeded at speed through the night to the position. Within seven miles (11kms) of the position they saw a red flare,” a coastguard spokesman said.
The two men were spotted soon afterwards, clinging to a life raft.
Though having spent some 10 hours in the water, they were taken aboard uninjured.

Dancing across the Atlantic


If you have a passion being able to indulge it and enjoy a cruise at the same time is a treat. Crystal Cruises have just announced their Big Band Celebration Cruise for 2010 and as well as a Big Band playing dance music every night there will be extra dance hosts. Dancing is known to be one of the best things you can do to keep active physically and mentally as you age and I for one love it! Evidence that it is not only fun but important to one’s health is a bonus. Check out this story on TangoAustralia if you would like to know more.
Crystal Serenity has just left Lisbon on her 2009 Ballroom Dancing Cruise, however next year’s cruise which will follow the same route from Lisbon in Portugal to Miami in Florida, with a couple of port calls in the Azores is now available. So contact me for more information if like me you love to dance! Email martin@travelchoice.com.au

Time to check out the Crystal Serenity


No cruise ships in Sydney Harbour for a couple of days … so I’ve got time to tell you about my visit to the Crystal Serenity on Saturday. Crystal Cruises are known by those who are well-travelled, enjoy all life’s luxuries, want space, choice and a varied and interesting program and are prepared for the price. We were very lucky to have time to explore the ship during her recent overnight stopover in Sydney. And to have sunny days – earlier in the week Sydney had treated some of our cruise visitors to rain or drizzle.
Crystal Serenity features include all cabins as outside and the majority with a private balcony; two outdoor swimming pools – one of which can be covered with a magrodome in inclement weather; a wide teak promenade deck and excellent fitness facilities; a Palm Court lounge; the Stardust Club where cabaret is the entertainment; a computer learning centre and the popular Avenue Saloon, described in the Berlitz guide as a “throwback to gentlemen’s clubs of yesteryear” – and much more.
Crystal Serenity has departed Sydney for this year but if you would like to know more about her itineraries – or that of her sister ship Crystal Symphony – you can contact me – martin@travelchoice.com.au anytime – or by phone 02 9968 1600.

Queen Victoria, Queen Mary and the Crystal Serenity

Well dear readers, I was hoping to present you with some beautiful photos of the Queen Victoria docked at Sydney’s International Terminal, followed by the Dawn Princess sailing out of our beautiful harbour at night… but I need to brush up my photography skills.
So this week – the Queen Mary 2 will arrive in the Harbour on Thursday (bringing the lovely Biba back into the offices of the Mosman Cruise Centre) and the Crystal Serenity will follow on Saturday. I am thrilled to have been invited to visit both of these luxurious ladies of the sea and hope to do a better job of photography so I can present you with a slide show of them both.
If you’re out cruise spotting this week look for…

24th February

  • Rhapsody of the Seas in Sydney Harbour
  • Diamond Princess visits Melbourne for the day
  • Queen Victoria visits Adelaide for the day

25th February

  • Royal Princess arriving and leaving Sydney
  • Celebrity Millenium visits Melbourne for the day
  • Black Watch moors in Burnie, Tasmania for the day

26th February

  • The Queen Mary 2 arrives in Sydney, docking at Garden Island, and stays for a day
  • Saga Rose arrives in Sydney and berths at the International Cruise Terminal overnight
  • Rhapsody of the Seas visits Brisbane for the day
  • Black Watch visits Melbourne for the day
  • Diamond Princess goes to Hobart, Tasmania for the day

27th February

  • Aurora arrives in Brisbane and leaves same day
  • Royal Princess will also moor in Brisbane for the day
  • Volendam visits Burnie, Tasmania for the day
  • Athena goes to Fremantle for the day
  • Diamond Princess goes to Adelaide for the day

28th February

  • Millenium returns to Sydney and stays until March 2. She will moor at Athol Buoy
  • Crystal Serenity arrives in Sydney and stays at the Overseas Passenger Terminal until 1 March
  • Pacific Sun arrives in Brisbane and leaves same day
  • Volendam visits Melbourne for the day

1st March

  • Pacific Dawn arrives for the day in Sydney Harbour
  • Aurora also visits Sydney and stays overnight. She will moor at Point Piper Buoy then move to the Overseas Passenger Terminal
  • Saga Rose arrives in Brisbane for the day
  • Pacific Sun moors in Adelaide for the day

2nd March

  • Volendam arrives in Sydney and departs same day
  • Athena returns to Fremantle for the day

Phew! Busy time. If you’d like more information I’m always happy to oblige. Just email me, martin@travelchoice.com.au or phone me during office hours on 2 9968 1600